Report: Cargo shorts aren’t cool anymore

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DENVER — Still wearing cargo shorts? It might be time to hang them up. In the trash.

Sales of cargo shorts are down for the first time in a decade, NPR reported Wednesday.

“Cargo shorts were a big trend in the ’90s, which is not in this century, by the way,” Steve Inskeep said on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

And the Wall Street Journal published a scathing report about the impact they can have on your marriage. The Journal talked to a man who wrote his Ph.D on the cargo shorts phenomenon.

“With the rise of gadgets, cargo shorts became really popular, because not only were they fashionable for the time period, they were functional,” the Journal quoted Joseph Hancock, a design and merchandising professor at Drexel University, as saying.

The popularity of the boxy, utilitarian shorts also coincided with the rise of teen fashion retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, the Journal said.

“Those teenagers are now married, and they don’t get rid of their clothes. They don’t evolve,” Hancock said.

I decided to ask people in our newsroom how they feel about the suddenly controversial clothing option.

Logan, a 25-year-old assignment editor, wasn’t even sure she knew what I was asking about.

“Cargo shorts? Those old-school things with a pocket for a hammer?” Logan asked. “If my boyfriend was wearing them, I’d probably be like ‘Really?'”

“I have a camo pair. I wore them this morning to walk the dog,” meteorologist Matt Makens said. “My wife loves them.”

I tried to confirm this with his wife, Hillary. Her expression is hard to put into words. Confusion? Disgust?

“Do I like them? If we’re going to the beach. Or Disney World. Somewhere I need him to hold stuff for me,” Hillary said.

Now the battle over the military-style shorts is on, with people on both sides venting their feelings on social media.

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